Jessica Chastain wears a pink feathered robe and full makeup lying in bed, looking angry as Tammy Faye Bakker in 'The Eyes of Tammy Faye'
(image: Searchlight Pictures)

Jessica Chastain Shared How Important Planned Parenthood Was for Her

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Jessica Chastain may be a beacon in Hollywood for advocating for herself and her costars, but she didn’t always have the easiest go of it. The actress, who is the first to admit when she’s wrong and will share her views on abortion rights and more, has opened up about how Planned Parenthood helped her growing up and gave her her own choice.

Talking with The Sunday Times, Chastain opened up about her upbringing in a truly honest and open interview. But the big takeaway, other than having a better understanding of the kind of woman Chastain is, was her support for Planned Parenthood. “I’m the first person in my family to not be pregnant when I was 17,” Chastain told the publication.

“It had a great impact on my life because it gave me choice.” Getting easily affordable and accessible birth control isn’t easy for many, especially without health insurance, but Planned Parenthood has options for birth control (currently) that are $7 without insurance—something that can run upwards of $50 a month without a health insurance plan.

The thing about many performers is that they subscribe to the notion that not many fans want to know about their upbringings if they’re not shiny and perfect. And then there are those like Chastain, who lives a relatively private life outside of her social media persona. So getting to know a bit about how she came to be the Juilliard grad we know is a rare window into her world.

“I have a rebellious streak because I grew up with a lot of resentment, because we didn’t have things, like even food,” she said. “I don’t talk about it much, but it was really, um, it was not what you would expect. When people see me, I think they expect a different background than I have.”

Later, she explained that she found a performing arts school that would let her work there in exchange for classes and used it to her advantage, since she had caught the “acting bug” but couldn’t afford to go to a school like that. The entire interview is an insight into what makes Chastain tick and gives us a look into her honesty. One of my favorite things about her is that she’s one of the few celebrities who seems genuine in her care about making Hollywood a better place while using her platform for good.

Sharing her story about Planned Parenthood helps to also detract from those who want to vilify the organization. A right-wing talking point is how Planned Parenthood is only good for abortions, which is false, and one Google search could prove it to them. They refuse to do so, but stories like Chastain’s are is more proof of the great work that Planned Parenthood does for individuals who need them.

(image: Searchlight Pictures)

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Rachel Leishman
Rachel Leishman (She/Her) is an Assistant Editor at the Mary Sue. She's been a writer professionally since 2016 but was always obsessed with movies and television and writing about them growing up. A lover of Spider-Man and Wanda Maximoff's biggest defender, she has interests in all things nerdy and a cat named Benjamin Wyatt the cat. If you want to talk classic rock music or all things Harrison Ford, she's your girl but her interests span far and wide. Yes, she knows she looks like Florence Pugh. She has multiple podcasts, normally has opinions on any bit of pop culture, and can tell you can actors entire filmography off the top of her head. Her work at the Mary Sue often includes Star Wars, Marvel, DC, movie reviews, and interviews.